On a sun-soaked Sunday afternoon, the game clock displayed 1:53. Robert Griffin III, backed up by the vicious Cincinnati Bengals defense within his own 10-yard line, boldly attempted a game winning drive. Trailing by seven points, he led the Redskins’ offense to the Bengal 20-yard line through a series of accurate passes and nifty scrambles.
Griffin, or his recently acclaimed nickname, RG3, has lifted the spirits of Washington fans and given them hope. Mike Shanahan and the Redskins traded for the second overall pick of the 2012 NFL draft specifically to choose Griffin. Setting ridiculously high standards for himself after receiving the Heisman trophy following his wildly successful senior year at Baylor University, he continued to impress and exceed expectations during the 2012 NFL combine.
Griffin, weighing in at 223 pounds and standing 6’2’’, sprinted a 4.41 40-yard dash, leaped a whopping 10’ in the broad jump, and lifted himself 39’’ off the floor in the vertical jump. He was given a 95.0 grade at the combine out of a total of 100.0. The NFL combine considers a grade of 95 one point lower than a projected future Hall of Famer.
Griffin had begun to prove himself before the season even started. The true question was: would he live up to the hype?
To kick off the season, Griffin led the Redskins to a 40-32 victory over the New Orleans Saints. He completed 19 of 26 passes, giving him a 73% completion for a total of 320 yards, two touchdowns, and impressively no interceptions. By the time week two rolled around, the St. Louis Rams were the Redskins’ next opponent. The Rams defeated Washington 31-28, but Griffin put up a great fight. He completed 20 of 29 passes for a total of 206 yards.
Despite Griffin’s one interception, he had a 68 yard passing touchdown and both 5 and 7 yard rushing touchdowns. Clearly football is a team sport, and in that aspect Griffin’s team had failed, but he left no doubt that he is extremely talented and has a bright future in the NFL.
During Griffin’s week three battle against Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals, Griffin completed 21 of 34 throws. He had one passing touchdown to receiver Santana Moss and also had a rushing touchdown that beautifully illustrated his speed and agility. He had a total of 221 passing yards and 85 rushing yards. The Redskins fell short, 38-31, despite Griffin’s last offensive attack.
So will RG3 live up to the hype? I think he will. Griffin is a young rookie with an incredible football IQ. He is poised, confident, and can move well not only in the pocket but also in the open field. His arm strength is more than sufficient and his vision may not be in the class of Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers, but is surely going to improve over the next few years.
The only concern I have is how physical he plays. Sometimes I feel like he thinks he is a running back when he needs to protect himself more and get out of bounds as much as possible. The future looks bright indeed for Griffin and all of Washington looks forward to watching him play every Sunday.
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